As the clouds begin to clear and overcasts are now rare, it’s a good time to prepare that backpack and wear your traveller hat. We have listed a few places that you should visit in the month of September.
Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh
One of the prettiest landscapes in all of India, the fertile Ziro Valley nestles within Arunachal’s formidable mountains like a mythical kingdom. A layered landscape of rice fields, rivers and picture-postcard villages of the Apatani tribe, it is an undisputed high point of any trip to Arunachal. It’s vital to have a local guide to take you to these villages, otherwise you won’t see much and might even be made to feel quite unwelcome.
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Comprising a string of 36 palm-covered, white-sand-skirted coral islands 300km off the coast of Kerala, Lakshadweep is as stunning as it is isolated. Only 10 of these islands are inhabited, mostly by fishermen, and foreigners are only allowed to stay on a few of these. The real attraction of the islands lies under the water: the 4200 sq km of pristine archipelago lagoons, unspoilt coral reefs and warm waters are a magnet for scuba divers and snorkellers.
Lachen was once a quaint village of old wooden homes on sturdy stone bases with ornate Tibetan-style window frames. These days, however, it’s largely a mass of concrete box hotels serving streams of tourists heading for Gurudongmar Lake. The scene is more attractive up by the Lachen Gompa, a 15-minute walk above the town. Lachen can also be used as the trailhead for eight-day expeditionary treks to Green Lake (5050m) towards Kangchenjunga’s northeast face.
Dating back to the year 1464, the sprawling complex in Neemrana is spread over 6 acres on the arid landscape of Aravallis. Enjoy a full day excursion to the magnificent Neemrana Fort Palace, a unique heritage hotel located in close proximity to Delhi. Situated atop the rugged plateau of Aravalli Hills, this fort is a treasure trove of history, mystery, adventure, and splendid scenery. Enjoy a thrilling zip-lining activity and a sumptuous lunch.
Founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das, Amritsar is home to the spectacular Golden Temple, Sikhism’s holiest shrine and one of India’s most serene and humbling sights. The hyperactive streets surrounding the temple are a delight to walk through for a sensory overload of sights, sounds and aromas.
Kalimpong, West Bengal
This bustling bazaar town sprawls along a saddle-shaped mountain ridge overlooking the roaring Teesta River and lorded over by the summit of Kangchenjunga. It’s not a must-see, but it does boast Himalayan views, Buddhist monasteries, colonial-era architecture and a fascinating nursery industry, all linked by some fine hikes. You could easily fill three days here.
Tarkarli is amongst the very few places in India where you can indulge in Scuba diving. This hidden gem on the Konkan coast is abundant with coral reefs and also is blessed with clear waters making it a great site for Scuba Diving. The trainers are quite professional with good safety gear. Tarkarli beach also has other water rides like Jet Ski, banana boat, kayaking etc. For a relaxing break with a bit of adventure, Tarkarli definitely is an ideal place for a weekend getaway.
Tiny Diu island, linked by a bridge to Gujarat’s southern coast, is infused with Portuguese history. The streets of the main town are clean and quiet once you get off the tourist-packed waterfront strip; and alcohol is legal here. If you’ve been spending time immersed in the intensity of Gujarati cities, or just really need a break, Diu offers a refreshing one.
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Ringed by an arc of green mountains, Srinagar’s greatest drawcard is mesmerizingly placid Dal Lake, on which a bright array of stationary houseboats form a colourful scene and a unique opportunity for romantic chill-outs. Famous Mughal gardens are strung out over several kilometres around the lake’s less urbanised eastern shore; these contrast with a fascinatingly chaotic old city centre that is topped by a fortress and dotted with historic wooden mosques.
A captivating town with narrow lanes of Brahmin-blue houses, lakes, hills, bazaars, and a temple at every turn, Bundi is dominated by a fantastical palace of faded parchment cupolas and loggias rising from the hillside above the town. Though an increasingly popular traveller hang-out, Bundi attracts lesser crowds than Jaipur or Udaipur. Few places in Rajasthan retain so much of the magical atmosphere of centuries past.